NEW YORK — When Mary Higgins Clark struck an unprecedented, five-book, $64 million deal eight weeks ago, her publishers dubbed her the first lady of Simon & Schuster. Now the house has a first family.
Clark and her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, have just inked a $4 million deal with the house to collaborate on an as-yet-unwritten novella, “Deck the Halls.” The book will not be part of the elder Clark’s five-book contract.
Carol Higgins Clark is already a bestselling suspense writer published by Scribner, an imprint of S&S. But this deal marks the first time the two have collaborated on a book, and the first time in the history of S&S that a book will appear simultaneously under two of its imprints; it will subsequently appear as a paperback from Pocket.
S&S also controls world rights, audio rights and some electronic rights.
In another unconventional move, the book will unite characters from the work of both authors — Carol Higgins Clark’s series detective Regan Reilly and Alvirah Meehan, an erstwhile cleaning lady, lottery-winner and amateur sleuth who Mary Higgins Clark introduced in the novel “Weep No More, My Lady.”
“My mother had killed her off,” Carol Higgins Clark said. “I wanted her to stick around.”
The book will be edited both by Mary Higgins Clark’s longtime editor Michael Korda and her daughter’s editor, Scribner associate publisher Roz Lippel. The book is scheduled for an Oct. 19 release, and both authors have separate novels due out in April.
McIntosh & Otis agents Eugene Winick and Sam Pinkus repped Mary Higgins Clark and Nicholas Ellison, of Nicholas Ellison Inc., repped her daughter.